"I'm glad they've done the research. It's an option we've wanted the MTA to explore," said Livable City Executive Director Tom Radulovich. "There's a tradeoff, every stop has a constituency. The other thing that unfortunately has happened is that keeping every stop has been mythologized as a social justice movement. We've heard that seniors don't care about speed, poor people don't care about speed, they care about stop spacing. Some analysis that I've seen from the TEP shows the opposite to be the case, some seniors care very much about travel times."
Radulovich added: "There needs to be rigor to it so that it's not political and not arbitrary."
MTA staff noted that nationwide research indicates most people are willing to walk a quarter-mile (1320 ft) to access local transit, though they note that spacing distance should be reduced on steep grades. Further consideration would be given to important transfer points and destinations such as schools, hospitals, and other community facilities. Staff also suggested that approximately 20 percent of delay on the 15 most-used routes is dwell time, due in large part to the density of stops, though it should be noted that the MTA could introduce faster payment options, bus bulb-outs, separated lanes, etc to reduce dwell times.
In their presentation, MTA staff highlighted the 9-San Bruno, a route that has 126 total stops, 70 of which are too close. If 9 inbound and 11 outbound stops were eliminated, MTA estimates it would achieve a 7 minute (5 percent) running times savings and an annual cost savings of $200,000 in operator costs alone.